Sony Xperia P review – the midrange phone with high-end hardware


Sony-Xperia-P MWC 2012
Sony Xperia P may be a midrange handset in today’s era but if it were 2011, it would have been a great contender to Samsung Galaxy S2 in spite of its slightly smaller screen. The handset is short of stunning in terms of design and spec-wise, is more-than-decent to wow you. The smartphone is launching in the UK coming May and one thing’s clear – it will sell better than Nokia Lumia 900 which isn’t doing good in the European market because of its Windows Phone OS.


The first thing you’ll immediately notice on Xperia P is its aluminum body. That alone sets it apart from most Android phones and their typical plastic bodies. Its sharp corners – which makes it look more like a bar of chocolate – is a unique design since competing phones are usually curved in these areas. The metallic back feels good on the hand and its curved design makes it easy to hold. For an even better grip, the bottom part of Xperia P’s back is slightly elevated though it’s blunt edge can hurt a little when held the wrong way.

The front panel is marked by another design feature which makes Sony Xperia P unique. Resting below the 4-inch screen is a transparent bar that lights up when you receive calls or texts. Love it or hate it, this is a battery-friendly way of getting notified. It also saves you the hassle of digging through your bag and lighting up the screen just to check for calls or messages.

Specs and features

Sony Xperia P has a large 4-inch screen. Screens this size are usually standard to higher-end models but other specs of this phone are arguably midrange for a 2012 model. It has a 960 x 540 pixel resolution with Reality Display and WhiteMagic technology for keeping the screen bright under sunlight. The TFT LCD display is protected by a shatter-proof, scratch-resistant mineral glass.

For music lovers, xLoud audio technology helps channel crisp and loud sound experience when playing music. Shutterbugs would find the 8-megapixel camera interesting with its Sony’s Exmor R CMOS sensor. Paired up with autofocus and LED flash, the camera takes great photos and 1080p videos. Camera features include 3D Sweep Panorama and face/smile detection. To top it all off, Sony integrated a dedicated camera button on Xperia P so it would be easier to capture moments.

Powering the handset is a 1GHz dual-core U8500 processor and while it’s not as fast as the chip inside Xperia S, it doesn’t lag either. It also has 1GB of RAM for running multiple apps at the same time. Xperia P ships with Android 2.3 Gingerbread but it will get an Ice Cream Sandwich update on Q2 2012. For storage, you only have 16GB of internal storage since there’s no microSD card support for expandable memory. Other specs include:

• Dimensions: 122 x 59.5 x 10.5mm
• Weight: 120g
• Front-facing VGA camera
• Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR
• 2G/3G connectivity
• WiFi b/g/n
• 3.5mm audio jack
• MicroHDMI connection
• MicroUSB port
• FM Radio
• 1305mAh battery
• Sensors: G-Sensor, Proximity, and Light

And did I mention that Sony Xperia P has an NFC sensor? It can be used with SmartTags but they have to be bought separately from the device. Its most basic function would be for wireless payments though.


Sony Xperia P is one of the best midrange handsets currently available in the market. Premium specs from 2011 – like a 4-inch screen, 8MP camera, and dual-core processor – make it a higher-end option in today’s generation of smartphones. But if we set these aside it still has several advantages of its competitors.

For one, it has a vivid and vibrant display made possible by Bravia Mobile. It also has an NFC chip and Sony’s very own Exmor R CMOS sensor which make the camera extra sensitive to light in dark places. And let’s not forget the dedicated camera button and transparent notification bar for its design. The phone is now available for pre-order at Clove UK for $440 (€336 or £330) inclusive of VAT. It is offered as an unlocked, SIM-free handset and will start shipping on May 7.


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Editor in Chief with passion for gadgets and web technology. He is writing gadget news, covering mobile gear, apps and concept devices.

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